Omen by Manos Gerakinis is described as a fruity, spicy, ambery fragrance inspired by Delphi, the mythological home of the greatest oracle of the Ancient Western World.

Delphi is a strange place.

When I was last there, there was torrential rain every day which, when cleared, left waist-high fog to wade through like some kind of special FX layer cake.

Eerie indeed.

But it’s true that Omen doesn’t remind my of the islands that are so synonymous with the Greece of travel brochures. However, it reminds me *more* of hot and blindingly bright Athens, where the few trees push scrubbily and persistently through crumbling pavement, both modern and ancient.

Omen may not feel omen-like to me, but it does smell “ominous.” I can easily imagine myself in nearly deserted Plaka, sipping on an icy frappe on a sidewalk patio as cats with patchy fur mewl in shaded corners. Or seated for a movie in one of Athen’s many outdoor cinemas, the trailers cueing up as the sun sinks behind the Acropolis. Multi-colored liquors at Bretto’s, forest green, blue raspberry, bubblegum pink, followed by greasy gyros on drunken stagger back to the hotel.

Is Omen a comforting scent? Yes and no. No, in that it’s disquieting in the way that news images of wildfires are (speaking of which, consider a donation to the Hellenic Red Cross, whose work to help those affected by last year’s terrible fires was incredible). Yes, in that it simmers with a familiar bitter citrus opening and more traditional balsamic notes that feel like liquid protection. Does Omen read more masculine? Yes, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from giving it a sniff and a try on your skin, even if the list of official notes (Saffron, Apple, Bay Leaf, Jasmine, Bucchu, Fir Balsam, Leather, Amber, Oud, Ambergris, Tonka Bean, and Musk) are not typically your thing.

Omen is original and radically different from anything that I have smelled or worn in a long time, which is thrilling. Full disclosure: A big thank you to Manos Gerakinis for the travel spray that they offered up in a Ça Fleure Bon draw. I never win these things, so it was a lovely surprise that the fragrance that Despina Veneti reviewed became mine. 🙏

The perfumer behind Omen is Miguel Matos.

I’m currently in the process of archiving past reviews that have appeared on other platforms. This review first appeared on my Instagram on August 21, 2021.